The Reliant (Movie Review)

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Plot Summary

When the American dollar literally collapses overnight, a family is attacked by desperadoes and is forced to take their gun supply and survival gear into the woods behind their house in order to fend for themselves in the elements. However, the men who gunned their father down are still in pursuit (for some reason), which forces the family to either band together or tear each other apart as they try to defend themselves and survive in the brave new world of looting and living off the land. What will become of them all?

Production Quality (1.5 points)

It’s clear that the money that was donated by people (so that they could be listed as executive producers on the credits) was mostly well-used and not only spent on guns and weaponry. Video quality and audio quality are good, and since the film is mostly filmed in the outdoors, this definitely helps things. The soundtrack is also passable. However, much of the camera work is shaky and dizzy in the name of being action-oriented. Also, most of the indoor scenes are unnecessarily dark and poorly lit. Further, the editing is extremely choppy, which makes things hard to follow, but there are likely other factors to this problem, such as the plot.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)

From the get-go, the story makes zero sense. There’s no reason why the world would immediately descend into chaos basically in one day due to the sudden collapse of the dollar. How did it happen? What led to this extreme result and knee-jerk looting? This idea is too big and expansive to focus ninety percent of the plot on a collection of characters wandering around in the woods with guns. Did we mention that this movie is OBSESSED with guns? It holds nothing back in being outright propaganda that’s desperate to both create further political divide and garner the attention of powerful lobbying organizations. These concerns aside, there are tons of characters in The Reliant, and while flashbacks are used throughout, it’s not enough to make up for other problems, such as awkward conversations about vague things that are occurring in the world outside the forest, shoehorned Christian concepts, cheesy survival concepts, and outright fundamentalist messaging. Much like Unplanned, there was much fake outrage about The Reliant‘s so-called undeserved MPAA rating, but once again, the rating was actually justified due to the high amount of needless violence without proper balance. Regardless of this, the characters of The Reliant have extremely steep arcs and lack proper motivation for their actions as things just randomly happen one after another, and the plot lacks clear direction or purpose other than to shove certain worldviews down viewers’ throats. Hence, this section’s negative rating is given due to propaganda and due to total pointlessness.

Acting Quality (.5 point)

Throughout nearly every scene, the cast members of The Reliant are coached to exhibit extreme emotions, including a lot of yelling and screaming. Though there is some potential despite these annoyances, dramatic and tense scenes are totally butchered either with awkward line delivery, off-beat emotional delivery, or general uncomfortability with the given roles. In the end, there is little good to highlight in this movie.

Conclusion

After the screener was provided for this film, one of the creators strongly requested that they be given the chance to “approve” this review before it was publicly posted. Surprisingly, this was the first and only request we’ve ever received for this to happen. Moreover, it further shows the amount of control that’s surrounding this movie and reflects the mentality behind its creation. Films like The Reliant have a clear agenda to push on their audiences and purposely make themselves lightning rods for controversy with the hopes of garnering attention from certain groups. There were no attempts in this movie to craft a meaningful plot based on accessible characters, so even if the creative team had the best message in the world, it’s still not correctly packaged. In the end, there are just too many issues here to discern any amount of potential there might have been in this half-baked idea.

Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points

57 thoughts on “The Reliant (Movie Review)

    • The only (alleged) sellouts were in Evanston, Indiana where the Johnstons lived for years. I’m sure they bought the tickets themselves and gave them to their fellow religious cultists. Otherwise, the movie played to mostly empty theaters.

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      • It at least played in empty theaters though🤣! That’s more than a majority of “faith based” films could say😉.

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        • The Johnstons should be thanked for setting back Christianity 500 years. The more they rail, the more people walk away from their brand of religion. Their movie is a stain on God. And that chubby old man who helped bankrolled it better follow the scriptures rather than threating people who criticize this pathetic piece of cinema trash.

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  1. Absolute wreck! It’s obvious Johnston has a very big ego to think he has the talent to make a movie. Lifetime would make a better film with a lower budget. Patrick Johnston will never make his mark in the movie business, only a dirty smear. What can you expect from someone with no talent in writing or making movies. His wife, similarly, has no talent for anything except screaming. Both should stick to their pro-lifing duties, because their desire for the bankroll doing other things like films and books won’t come to fruition. It’s funny he’s using Patrick and J.P. Johnston to post here, as if people don’t know he’s one and the same person.

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  2. Terrible! Lifetime would make a better film with a lower budget. Patrick Johnston will never make his mark in the movie business, only a dirty smear. What can you expect from someone with no talent in writing or making movies. His wife, similarly, has no talent for anything except screaming. Both should stick to their pro-lifing duties, because their desire for the bankroll doing other things like films and books won’t come to fruition.

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  3. I won a penmanship award in the 3rd grade….guess my work is award winning also…when you win some unimportant award from an unknown film festival, it isn’t something to brag about, but ol’ Patty Johnston is so braggadocios he has to toot his own horn…and if you wonder who these anonymous people are that are posting all these great things about the movie are,..look no further than Patrick’s alias or his family members – Anna’s in there somewhere, Lizzie horror Johnston is somewhere else. They did the same thing with her flop suey book. I might pick up a copy of the dvd when it shows up at Dollar General.

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    • This is solid gold. You sure won’t see them mention this review anywhere. And yes, Lizzie is probably in here somewhere. Gonna be interesting to see how she spins all this for another round of donations from her gullible followers.

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  4. Wow, for people who spend all day telling others how to live their lives, the Johnsons really can’t take a little criticism…

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  5. Ok we all know the Johnstons are notorious con artist addicted to attention. They are the type that would bring back Jim Crow if they could. Elizabeth is a big defender of Roy Moore who has had several accusations of rape. They terrorize anyone that doesn’t buy into their proselytized brand of Christianity. No I have not seen the entire film . Just bits and pieces. This a propagandist film plain and simple. Next time take the money and help people who really need it . Otherwise as filmmakers you are wasting your time and others

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  6. Pure trash propaganda. Heavy handed 2A rubbish with a speech from some gun advocate after the credits. In fact, to help finance this mess, Johnston raffled away a semi-automatic rifle. And really, you top bill Sorbo and he’s killed in the first 19 minutes and if you blink you miss Eric Roberts. Any of you actually take the time to research The Johnstons? Awful people. Religious crackpots, and his wife Elizabeth, better known online as The Activist Mommy, has made a career of lying, hatemongering, muckraking, marginalizing people, exercising nuclear level hypocrisy and grifting at every opportunity. Patrick, or whoever runs The Reliant’s Facebook page has painstakingly deleted every negative comment or inquiry regarding the movie, a trick he no doubt learned from his wife, who deletes comments and blocks anyone who challenges her on all social media platforms all while she screams “censorship” when she gets in trouble for hate speech. So his wanting to see the review in advance is perfectly normal….they are control freaks. It was nice to see reports of practically empty theaters and in at least one case in Texas, people walking out on it. Next time you have a million bucks to burn, do something useful with it instead of some pathetic vanity project.

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    • The Johnstons are complete grifters with only one aim. Notoriety and money. They need to be exposed at every turn .

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  7. Let me start by saying that i am a Constitutional conservative and Christian as well as a fervent reader of apocalyptic dystopian fiction. Some of the writers I read are Christians (read Mark Goodwin if you want a great Bible based apolcalytic read) as well as some who are definitely not.
    I heard about this movie from USCCA which is a concealed carry organization, who supports both 2nd amendment self defense and christian values. After I saw the film on Thursday night I was interested in seeing what other people thought because I was conflicted. I don’t usually write comments but after reading these I hope to find the ear of the folks who made this movie happen.
    Awards are great but film festivals are not your market. My question to the film makers is why did you make this film. Was it a conversion project? Do you want to change hearts and minds, both for God and guns? There are a lot of things I could say about this movie but the root is it is a missed opportunity, you are basically preaching to the choir. Tell the story of the family, tell the story of the “bad” father, explain what ties them together, tell the story of Jesus and His Grace. The opening scene of the movie started with the lights still up in the theater and people still trying to find their seats. With all the action of the distraught father in the foreground I didn’t know that the doctor was the dad til much later. Prepare the audience with conversation about the coming collapse ( most people in America don’t understand how close this is and don’t know what is going on in Venezuela). There were some uncomfortable situations of “self defense” shootings in one of the flashbacks that might have been handled better. I’m going to submit that question to USCCA. (And don’t fire warning shots, it’s just a waste on ammunition.)
    I spent a lot of time in the movie asking why. Why if they were prepared did they not bury a cache or two in the woods? Mom told them to stay in the woods. If they are prepared, why was the trailer not already packed, where were they going to bug out? Why no cache of antibiotics, or tourniquets or training- he was a doctor after all? We never see them at church or the range. This story needs to be told but it needs a beginning, a middle and an end instead of stream of consciousness.
    Don’t stop, make another movie, just with more clarity.

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  8. I watched the movie last night. I get the sense that you were offended by the filmmaker’s request to look at your review. While that does suggest overreach in their desire to protect the movie, I don’t think your review is accurate. It is far more fair-minded than you are letting on.

    This movie shows the dangers of concealed carry, such as children having access to the guns when a parent falls asleep, It shows the danger of misuse of guns, such as a desire to exact vengeance on a man that was hated. It shows the reward of restraint, in that anyone can be redeemable. And yes, it shows that sometimes guns are necessary to defend the innocent. When police protection isn’t readily available, sometimes you need to stand in their place….and it’s perfectly legal and moral to do so.

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  9. Sadly I have not yet seen the movie as if yet. The trailer, so called plot, and quality do not interest me. Based on the comments (whining) from Mr. Johnston (movie writer) above, I am less interested than ever. I know a lot of people who are believers who are also avid gun proponents and they do not act or speak like this. I do not agree with every review on this site; however I hope I would not harshly judge them either. I like Chris’s comment about being all for it or being out of the herd! Why can’t this review or anyone else for that matter disagree or simply not like this movie? Mr. Johnston, if you’re gonna put yourself out there as a writer then put on your big boy pants and take the critique along with the praise!

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    • Hello. No problem with an honest, sincere review, however critical. I’ve received as much criticism from Christians for being too violent as from leftists for being “pro-gun”, but when the critic is based on lies, I can’t be silent. Ideologues on both sides of the aisle will critique art that they haven’t even seen, based upon close-minded presuppositions. I think that’s despicable, especially when the critic feigns objectivity. I hope you understand I have no problem with sincere critiques. That’s how we get better.

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      • “I have no problem with sincere critiques”

        Then, Mr. Johnston, would you mind taking a look at my honest review ? I would be glad to give you the link if you’d like.

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      • Isn’t it crazy? This is why you need to do what you love for you and for God, even your own side will try and take you down.

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  10. 80% of the commentators on this review be like: If you are a “true” Christian you must agree wholeheartedly with this movie otherwise your out of the herd, your a liberal, your a blah blah blah etc.(?!?!?) There’s an old song that states “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love”. Will they?

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    • I couldn’t have said it better myself Chris. Thanks for your transparency. Currently it does seem like many American Christians think that like-mindedness makes someone a ‘good’ Christian. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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      • Like.

        Worst problem with Christianity is Christians. But all the non-Christians have the same problem, so who are they to judge? Ultimately, we’re all going to stand before the only Judge that matters.

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  11. It’s not even an honest review. It’s not even sincere. Probably didn’t even watch the movie. 95% of our IMDb reviews from registered IMDb users were 0 or 1 on 1-10 scale and they were all BEFORE the movie came out. They didn’t even watch the movie and they gave it a zero. Why? They’re liars. Snow flakes who diss the heat of God and guns even before the match is lit. 1/3 of our 18 First Place film festival awards were from secular festivals. Thank God there are a few honest liberals out there. BoxOfficeRevolution have shown themselves to be partisan liars.

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  12. On your “Review of the review” I give your website a 0 out of 10 score. I will never use your website again. Your review of this and movies like “Joker” are why fans should look to what you and Rotten tomatoes review and expect the exact opposite. This movie was in the end the exact same kind of movie I was expecting the original Red Dawn had achieved. Nothing could ever capture what Patrick Swazy and Co. achieved in Red Dawn but with “cancel culture” in full swing it doesn’t surprise me your site would slander what they had achieved on such a minuscule, tiny budget. (Only a $700,000 budget) With a larger budget doubt Hollywood couldn’t have achieved what Kevin Sorbo and Co. achieved with “The Reliant”. As good as Red Dawn? No but still worth the price of admission. I look forward to the Blu-Ray.

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  13. “The soundtrack is also passable” – you mean from the same composer that just got done working on a project produced by Hans Zimmer?

    At 19, James scored his first feature film at Abbey Road studios in London, later collaborating with Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer and Bleeding Fingers Music for the National Geographic Documentary Film ’Apollo: Missions to the Moon’ in 2018. The score was recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville and mixed at Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions facility in Los Angeles. James’ catalogue is primarily licensed by Bleeding Fingers sister company Extreme Music.

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  14. BoxOfficeRevolutionary (hereafter abbreviated as BORe) has strong opinions. Yes, he’s right, the story does make zero sense; it also makes zero sense in Venezuela right now, but doesn’t make it any less true there. Lots of things that don’t make sense happen. There are tons of movies with plots of the violent end of our cushy society, most are pure Hollywood. They don’t make sense (or cents) either; they do make dollars. BORe probably has little problem with those. Because most don’t attach themselves to being ‘Christian’, (the only recent exception off the top of my head that did was ‘The Book of Eli’) we aren’t offended by them; after all, our real objection is that we somehow feel that we have some attachment because we have the same title (Christian) as the people who made them. We feel that we might be dragged down or made fun of because of them. We don’t like to explain how our God of love asked Joshua or David to utterly destroy men, women and children, and we certainly don’t like to explain that some Christians aren’t afraid to use guns. I don’t have the right to either judge nor defend those that do, any more than I have to right to judge or defend BORe’s reviews. Movies are made for essentially two reasons; entertain or make a statement or message. I think this movie tries to do both. I applaud the attempt. Those that entertain (‘I Can Only Imagine’) tend to make more money than those that have a strong message (‘Unplanned’). I suppose we will see how this works out.

    p.s. I don’t own or use guns. I simply refuse to judge those who do.

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  15. Lol.

    Festival Wins for “THE RELIANT”
    Mesa International Film Festival BEST FAITH-BASED FILM
    Inspired Faith Film Festival BEST OF THE FEST
    Great Lakes Christian Film Festival BEST OF THE FEST
    Great Lakes Christian Film Festival BEST FEATURE FILM
    Out of the Can International Film Festival (UK) BEST ACTION MOVIE
    Content19 Film Festival BEST FEATURE FILM

    Kevin Sorbo Awards
    BEST NORTH AMERICAN ACTOR
    OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BEST ACTOR AWARD

    Mollee Gray Awards
    DIAMOND AWARD BEST ACTRESS
    Churches Making Movies Christian Film Festival BEST ACTRESS
    Hollywood Divine Film Festival BEST ACTRESS
    Content19 Film Festival BEST ACTRESS

    James Everingham Awards for Abbey Rd. score
    Content19 Film Festival BEST SCORE
    Freedom Festival International BEST SCORE

    Brian Bosworth Awards
    DIAMOND AWARD BEST ACTOR
    Christian Making Movies Christian Film Festival BEST ACTOR
    Great Lakes Christian Film Festival BEST ACTOR

    James Burgess & Dan Parsons
    Hollywood Divine Film Festival BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

    The producers awards–J. P. Johnston, Paul Munger,
    Kevin Sorbo, Brian Bosworth, Matthew Trewhella,
    Clarence B. Cope, Eric Jellison, Tim Schmidt,
    Doug & Betty Yeary, David & Robin Grear,
    Peter Ryumshim, John & Marcia Loper,
    Elizabeth Johnston
    Freedom Festival International BEST PRODUCER
    Great Lakes Christian Film Festival BEST PRODUCER FEATURE FILM

    J. P. Johnston, Writer & Producer of “The Reliant”
    http://www.TheReliantMovie.com

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